With final decks cleared for the commissioning of India’s first National Defence University (INDU), Prime Minister Manmohan Singh will lay the foundation stone of the institution on May 23.
The proposed university, modelled on the lines of the IITs and IIMs, will come up on a 200-acre land in Haryana. “The stone laying ceremony, in which PM is expected to be the chief guest, will be held on May 23,” Defence Ministry officials said here on Thursday.
The Union Cabinet had in May 2010 given the nod to set up the INDU and provided `295 crore for its construction, apart from `162 crore for land acquisition at Binola, Gurgaon, within the national capital region of Haryana.
The final touches to the INDU foundation stone plan were given at a meeting presided over by Defence Minister A K Antony on April 5 this year. To be a fully autonomous institution, the INDU will have a mandate to provide knowledge-based higher education for management of defence of the country, keeping its participants abreast of emerging security challenges through scholarly research and training. “The INDU will be a unique institution of national importance,” officials said, adding that land acquisition has been almost completed and the estimated time for the commissioning of the INDU is about seven years after the foundation stone-laying ceremony.
Binola was chosen for its proximity to the national capital and availability of land there, they said. The INDU will cater to a large number of international officials and students, as well as own security leaders, civilians and defence officials for courses and training.
The university will be headed by its president, a three-star serving General or an equivalent rank officer from the other two defence services with Commander-in-Chief status on appointment. The vice-president of the varsity will be a civilian. The university will accommodate 66 per cent of students from the Armed Forces, while 33 per cent of students would be drawn from other government, police and civilian agencies, and the rest may go to foreign students. The idea of a national defence university was first mooted in 1967 and followed up by the Sethna Committee in 1980, Kargil Review Committee in 1999, Group of Ministers and Committee on National Defence University in 2001.